Beijing shopping streets, heaven on earth for the shopaholics amongst us, and a must-do when visiting Beijing, preferably on a Beijing tour with us at ChinaTours.com.
Now, you may think, “Wait a second. Doesn’t ChinaTours.com have a strict no shopping stop policy?”
You are absolutely right. We value our guides and drivers and therefore pay them fair wages so they don’t need to rely on shop-stop commissions for income.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go on a shopping spree on your Bejing tour. Our guides are always happy to point out the best Beijing shopping streets to you.
Want to have a little pre-shopping fun? We made you a list of the top 10 Beijing shopping streets you must visit when in China.
#1 Hustle and bustle on Wangfujing Street
Number one in our top 10 of Beijing shopping streets is Wangfujing Street (or Wangfujing Dajie). It’s one of Beijing’s oldest shopping streets, and internationally famous for its unique shopping culture. Wangfujing Street is a lively street where you’ll find anything from the quaintest, traditional curio shops to the newest, cutting-edge designer stores.
Wangfujing Street is within walking distance from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, and easily accessible by public transport. Ask your guide how to get there, or make sure you download the app CityMaps2Go before your journey.
#2 Glitter and glamour on Xidan Commercial Street
There’s something for everyone at Xidan Commercial Street. You could easily spend the whole day feasting your eyes on the many big brands and small boutiques standing side by side in this modern Beijing shopping street. Every day, locals and foreign travellers alike, swarm into Xidan Commercial Street to seek pleasure in shopping. At night, Xidan Commercial Street turns into a fairytale, with its glittering lights and glamorous entertainment. Xidan Commercial Street is located in the Xicheng district and is easy to get to by public transport.
#3 Trend meets tradition on Qianmen Street
Travel back in time to Beijing’s oldest commercial area. Qianmen Street is a bustling area, packed with time-honored stores. No large shopping malls here, just clusters of old, traditional shops, polished by time. There’s an old-fashioned tram running through the street, and beautiful vintage lights make the place worthy for a late-night stroll. Qianmen Street is a vivid epitome of almost 600 years of commercial history in Beijing. Tucked away in the ancient-style buildings, you can find anything, from modern shops to traditional Chinese medicine, luxurious silk, and quirky, old bookstores. Qianmen Street is located near Tiananmen Square and is easily accessible by public transport.
#4 Bargain hunting on Silk Street
Looking for an authentic Chinese shopping experience? Silk Street in the Chaoyang District is the place to be. Catch a late-afternoon bus or metro there, and marvel at the abundance of Chinese specialties, such as silk, tea, and pearls, or bargain with the local shop owners, some of whom speak several foreign languages. Besides shopping, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some artisan action too. Watch a craftsman mold a Tianjin clay figurine, or admire the art of Zhejiang paper cutting.
#5 Silver Street, a local’s hotspot
Shop like a local in Silver Street, the ultimate favourite of the Beijing locals. This 2.7 kilometres long street is located in the Dongcheng District and easily accessible by bus. Silver Street has countless shops where you can buy anything, from clothes and jewelry to homeware. In addition, you’ll find a range of traditional handicrafts, such as the famous Beijing snuff bottles. With so many different stores, you’ll undoubtedly find what you need in Silver Street.
#6 Trinkets and treasures at Panjiayuan Antique Market
Go to Beijing’s largest flea market, located in the Chaoyang District, where you will find piles of one-of-a-kind finds. With over 3000 shops and stalls, Panjiayuan Antique Market is a must-visit for both the serious collectors, on the hunt for unique Chinese treasures, and the casual strollers, swooping for a surprising souvenir, such as calligraphy, ceramics, or even memorabilia from the Cultural Revolution.
Stores are open every day, and the street stalls run on Saturdays and Sundays. Remember, an early bird catches the worm so be sure to catch an early bus or metro, to avoid the chaotic weekend crowds.
#7 Gulou East Street: new discoveries in old Beijing
New meets old in Gulou East Street, one of the main streets in Beijing’s old Hutong district, and easily reached by bus. You’ll find all kinds of eccentric things like vintage clothing, video games, quirky animation, and something truly retro -a traditionally-made rice-paper umbrella. While you’re there, pop into one of Gulou East Street’s many cafes, bars, or restaurants for a delicious Hutong treat.
#8 Arts and crafts on Liulichang Cultural Street
Immerse yourself into hundreds of years of commercial culture. Liulichang Cultural Street is a shopping heaven for art lovers and artists alike. You’ll find lots of high-quality Chinese art, such as ancient books, calligraphy, paintings, and much more. Liulichang Cultural Street is located in the Xuanwu District, and you can easily get there by metro or bus.
#9 Afternoon tea on Maliandao Tea Street
Fancy some afternoon tea after a morning of sightseeing? Why not hop on the metro or bus, and visit Beijing’s largest tea market. Maliandao Tea Street has more than 100 tea shops, and about five tea halls collecting thousands of different kinds of teas from all across China. Each shop has its own special area for tasting the different kinds of teas, and the owners are always happy to share tips and tricks on how to distinguish the quality of tea, or how to sip your tea like a professional.
#10 Finish the day at Shichahai (or Houhai) Bar Street
With over 100 bars, restaurants, and cafes, Shichahai Bar Street is the ideal nighttime hangout after a day of sightseeing and shopping. Both travellers and locals head here to grab a drink, listen to some live music, or sing karaoke. However, Shichahai is not only worth a visit at night. Surrounded by the beautiful Shichahai Lake and one of the oldest Beijing Hutongs, it’s also perfect for a leisurely stroll during the day.
There seems to be a never-ending array of shops, shopping centres, and malls sprouting up in Beijing, which makes shopping an almost inevitable part of your China tour.
Want to avoid the commission-based shopping stops, and instead, have an authentic shopping experience in Beijing? Talk to our ChinaTours.com experts today, and book one of our many tours to beautiful Beijing.
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